Saturday, January 30, 2016

Instagram Trade With Angelo - Dual-Sided Cut Auto

I completed a trade with a guy named Angelo on Instagram recently when I sent him a Yoenis Cespedes Topps Hi Tek auto and a Dave Winfield triple relic for this Famous Fabrics Ink Big Apple Baseball dual cut auto of Hall of Famer Monte Irvin and Max Lanier.

Angelo offered me the card just after Irvin passed away and I figured it was a pretty cool piece to add to the collection.  It is a brand I have never heard of before, and serial numbered 325/2,000.
Another thing about this card that appealed to me was the Lanier auto.  I know next to nothing about him, so we will all learn together via baseball-reference:

Lanier was born in Denton, NC in 1915 and died in 2007 at the age of 91.  He played in the majors (a pitcher) from 1938 to 1946 and 1949 to 1953 for the Cardinals, Giants and Browns.  He had a career record of 108-82 with a 3.01 ERA and 821 strikeouts.

Lanier won the World Series with the Cardinals in 1942 and 1944 and made the All Star team in 1943 and 1944.

It seems to me that Lanier was a pretty good pitcher in his day.  I'm glad to have been able to add his auto to my collection.  Thanks for the trade, Angelo!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Instagram Trade With Alexander

I completed a trade last month with a guy from Instagram named Alex.  I sent him something that I can't quite remember (I think it was a Bowman Sterling auto) in exchange for this awesome Jonathan Schoop auto from 2014 Inception.  Inception is such a good product, but the Orioles haven't really had a whole lot of major prospects come through that set, with the exception of Schoop, Hunter Harvey and Christian Walker.  I'm hoping the Orioles recent draft picks start to show up in products like this.  Also, I can't wait to see stuff of Trey Mancini and Chance Sisco in this stuff as well,
Alexander included some extras in the package as well.  They were a few Orioles cards, but the most notable was this Jimmy Paredes sparkle chrome from Topps Update.  I wish Chris Davis had one of these this year, because I would be all over it!  This card just looks so cool.  It's too bad Paredes tailed off after the All Star break, because he was on pace to have a pretty special year last year.  I hope he can bounce back.  We'll see though.

Thanks for the deal, Alexander!  I wish I could remember what I sent, but I'm sure you were happy with it.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Orioles Trade With Dylan

I completed a trade recently with my buddy, Dylan, when I sent him a Bowman Sterling auto and a bunch of Red Sox prospect cards in exchange for a bunch of Orioles cards.  This Cal Ripken from 2014 Triple Threads is one that I didn't have, yet, and was happy to add to my collection.  It is numbered 1/50.  Dylan also included a bunch of other Cals that I think I needed for the collection, but I am really not sure.  It will take a miracle for me to log all of the Cals into my spreadsheet.  I don't know if I ever will have the time for that.
Another cornerstone to our deal was this Frank Robinson ring card from 2014 Topps.  I looked around, and I have been adding quite a few decent F. Robinson cards lately.  I still contend that he is one of the most underrated Hall of Famers there is.  He really was one of the all-time greats, and I think he kind of gets overlooked a lot of the time.

Thank you for the deal, Dylan!  Not only did he hook me up in this deal, but a couple days later, I got an unopened 2015 Topps Orioles team set, which I haven't been able to find around here.  That was really awesome of him!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Trade With Josh F. - Adam Jones Snow Camo

I completed a trade recently with a guy on Instagram named Josh F.  He and I have traded before, and this time around was no different.  He is a friendly guy, and collects some guys that I normally wouldn't be able to unload in Patrick Corban and Jason Grilli.  He offered me this Adam Jones snow camo from 2015 update and in return I sent him a few Yankees parallels (notably, a Robert Refsnyder) and some Corban and Grilli cards.

I think Josh was pretty happy with the package I sent, especially since he was going to a signing with Grilli not too long after we made the deal.  If I remember correctly, he was able to get all of the cards I sent signed.  Not bad.

This is a pretty nice Joney from update.  It is  numbered 61/99 and shows him in his All Star jersey from this past year.  I think it looks pretty cool.

Thanks for the trade, Josh!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Christmas Gift From Jacob

I'm still working away at getting my "to be blogged" stack down, and it looks like I will be writing about Christmas gifts from the community well into February.  By no means, however, am I complaining.  The community has been very good to me over the years.  I've met a bunch of people and made quite a few friends.

One of those friends is a guy named Jacob who also hails from NC.  We have traded on Instagram and met in person at a few of the Raleigh card shows.

For Christmas, Jacob sent me this cool Cal Ripken metal card that I didn't have in my collection.  I haven't actually seen any of these before, so this was a nice surprise.  It says it was made in 1996 by Metallic Impressions.  I thought I had seen all of the Cal cards that there are to see, and Jacob pulls this out of his hat.  Well done!

Thank you for the gift, Jacob, I love the card.

Monday, January 25, 2016

1969 Topps Set Pickups From The Antique Shop

When I wasn't buying high-value vintage cards or stuff for friends at the Columbia antique shop, I was knocking cards off of my 1969 Topps set wishlist.

I picked up 41 cards that I needed for the set.  After this trip, I need 178 cards to complete the set.  I couldn't believe that I still needed this Brooks Robinson for the set.  I thought I had added it a while ago.
There were a bunch of stars that I picked up,  This Don Drysdale was a nice pickup.  It is far from mint, but it is still a nice addition.  This is actually Drysdale's last Topps card, as he would retire due to chronically sore shoulder during the 1969 season.
This Bob Gibson is nice, but will probably be upgraded at some point.  I didn't notice that it had a big crease near the bottom right corner.  I know not to expect my vintage sets to be mint, so I may ot even upgrade it at all.
I picked up several of the All Star cards that I was missing.  I added this Brooks (again, I thought I had an extra of this from my PC), Willie McCovey, the below Ron Santo and a Bob Gibson.
So, I made a nice dent in the 1969 set.  I am happy with what I spent, and I hope to keep chipping away at this set this year.  It would be really nice to close it out BEFORE the National, that way I can pick up other stuff, but I don't know.  Events are piling up already for me this year, and budgeting is going to be tough.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Columbia Antique Shop Pickups - 1953 Topps Hall of Famers

I finally got a chance to visit my brother in Columbia, SC after almost a year.  I try to get down there a few times a year, but last year, I was only able to get down there for the crawfish festival in May.  We went down there to hang out, since it had been a while, and also to get out of town for a bit.  The drive down wasn't bad at all, even though there was a winter storm a little farther west of where I was.  It was cold as crap all weekend, though.

As always, I made sure to visit Conrad at Chic Antiques while I was in Columbia.  I emailed him ahead of time so he would have an idea of what I was looking for.  This time around, though, he wasn't able to locate any of the Hall of Fame baseballs that I had on my mind.  That made it easier for me to focus on cards, however, and I was able to knock a nice chunk out of my 1969 set while I was there (will be shown in a later blog post).

Since I didn't get a ball, I got some nice vintage for a few friends of mine.  Aside from the 1969s, I only took home two vintage cards for myself.  The above 1953 Yogi Berra was one that I have seen there a few times, but haven't bought.  Finally, I took the plunge and added it to my collection.  It is a really cool card and I am glad to have it alongside the rest of my Berras.  I think 1953 Topps is a very underrated set.  I have a couple of the big name cards, with the Satchel Paige, Berra and a couple others.  The Mantle is ridiculously priced, but otherwise, this may be a nice set to work on here and there at some point.
Speaking of 1953 Topps, I added another with this nice Ralph Kiner.  Conrad pretty much did a buy one, get one free on these.  For the price he had the Berra listed, I paid that price for both of these cards.  I don't know which card looks better, Berra or Kiner, but I do enjoy the old school Pirates logo on this one.

I intend to start up another 50s set sometime soon, and Conrad has been enlisted in helping me get started.  I doubt it will be 1953, but I do look forward to the day when I can work on this one.  I think they are beautiful cards.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Purchase From Frankie - 2015 Topps Museum Collection Quad Relic

As I laid in bed at my in-laws' house Christmas night, I browsed Instagram while I waited to fall asleep.  On Instagram I saw that my friend, Frankie, had posted this nice 2015 Topps Museum Collection quad relic of Orioles Nelson Cruz, Jonathan Schoop, Adam Jones and Chris Davis.  I liked his price, so I jumped on Paypal immediately and sent him a payment.  I texted him right after that and told him I had purchased the quad.  I loved Frankie's response when he texted back saying "I knew you would want that card!"

So, I was able to help my friend out a bit by making a purchase from him and I got another Museum Collection card to add to my Chris Davis PC.  This card is numbered 25/99 and has a nice 3-color piece of Adam Jones's jersey (the one patch on the card).  Cruz is a piece of bat, while Davis and Schoop are both jersey swatches.

I only had two other quad relics of these guys on 2015 Museum Collection.  Those are numbered /25 and /75.  With this one numbered /99, I now have three different serial number series.  Not bad.

Thanks for the deal, Frankie!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Christmas Gift From Ben

The Christmas gifts really rolled in during the days leading up to my tour of NC (driving across the state to various houses to visit family).  One of the packages that came in was from my good friend, Ben, who I have been talking to and trading with for quite a while, now.

Ben has been really busy lately, so we haven't been able to talk as much, but every time we do, it is always a good time.

Ben sent me some nice cards, but the highlight of the package was this 2003 Fleer Avant Brooks Robinson auto numbered 149/300.  I had never seen these before.  The card is very clean and looks sharp.  I bet they have some other nice autos in this set.  I obviously didn't have it, so it will take a spot in my Brooks PC.

Thank you for the package, and your friendship, Ben!  I know you're a busy dude, so we will just enjoy the short time we are able to talk that much more.  Thanks buddy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Christmas Gift From Eli

I got a Christmas package from my little buddy Eli a few weeks ago that really made me happy.  It came with a really nice note and a bunch of Orioles cards.  I liked the 2014 Gypsy Queen shown above that he included.  He said that he had more stuff he was going to get me, but really, this package was awesome.  I don't know how he will surpass this.
The other relic that Eli included was this Adam Jones from 2014 Topps Update.  I like these All Star relics.  I may try to get the Orioles that show up from years past.  It may be something cool to have in an album.

Thanks so much for the awesome Christmas gift, Eli!  I really love everything that was in there!  You definitely don't need to get me anything else.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Christmas Gift From Michael S.

I got a nice surprise package in the mail recently from my friend, Michael S. from Instagram.  He and I both have been really busy lately, and haven't chatted much, which I regret.  I have some cards for him, but I have been waiting to ship once I find some more stuff to add to the pile.

Michael really surprised me with what he included in the package.  I had never seen the above 2006 Bowman Originals Nolan Reimold auto.  It is hand numbered and comes in a sealed snap case.  They don't scan very well, but that's ok.  I loved the Bowman Heritage when it came out.  I feel like it may be time for Topps to go back to the well with Bowman Heritage.
Michael included this 2009 Topps Chrome Nolan Reimold auto as well.  I have a couple already, but since I super collect Nolan, I will take duplicates of his relics and autos at any time.
Michael added this 2008 Donruss Diamond Kings Reimold auto.  The card looks really awesome and is numbered 149/500.  I always liked Diamond Kings, when they were their own standalone product, and when they were inserts in Donruss products.  They always look awesome.
Finally, Michael included this 1/1 sketch card.  I have actually seen this one on Ebay from time to time.  I never jumped on it, though.  Now that I have this in my hands, I'm really impressed with the art of it.  The guy is really talented, that's for sure.  I used to do a good bit of artwork when I was younger and always struggled when drawing people.  This guy really nailed it, I think.

Thanks so much for the Christmas care package, Michael.  I really appreciate it and am happy to add all of these cards to my collection!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Christmas Gift From Jack

I got a surprise Christmas care package recently from an Instagram follower named Jack.  I have chatted with him and his cousin, Nathan here and there.  They're both really good people, but I was still surprised that Jack thought enough of me to send me something for Christmas.

Inside the package was a bunch of Orioles parallels, like the above Zach Britton gold from 2015 Topps.  This one is numbered 1952/2015.
Another card in the package was this 2014 Topps Chris Davis gold parallel numbered 142/2014.  I'm still very excited that Davis will be coming back to the O'd for this season and beyond.  I'm really interested in seeing how his career will play out.
This 2013 Topps Opening Day Davis blue parallel also looks really nice.  This is numbered 219/2013.

Like I said, I was surprised to be getting anything from Jack.  He is a really nice guy, and I need to do some more trading with him and his cousin.  Thanks so much for the care package, Jack!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Welcome Back, Orange Crush!

I was getting tired of waking up to bad news this week.  So, when I woke up this morning to a Kik message from my friend Scott saying that Chris Davis has resigned with the Orioles, I got excited.  I tempered my enthusiasm, because I don't get worked up over Orioles news until I confirmed it on Roch Kubatko's blog on  Well, I checked Roch's blog and it was confirmed, Davis is back, pending a physical, for 7 years, $161 million.
When the contract is finalized, it will be the biggest contract that the Orioles have ever handed out, far surpassing the one that Adam Jones signed a few years ago (6 years, $85.5 million signed in 2012).

Davis's deal includes a full no trade clause and no opt outs.  Davis is my guy, and I am so happy to see him coming back to the Orioles.  I think you will see a flurry of moves, now that he is off the board.  Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton should be finding landing spots soon.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Recent Topps Mini Chris Davis Pickups

My saved searches on Ebay are paying off.  I picked up a few Chris Davis minis recently that I probably wouldn't have otherwise noticed.  I needed the base mini card, which I grabbed pretty cheaply.  I think this was 99 cents.  Not bad at all.
I found two more of the black parallels.  The above one is numbered 2/10.
This one is numbered 10/10.  I highly doubt I will find all 10.  It probably wouldn't be too fair to other Davis collectors if I owned them all.  It would be kind of cool to own all of the serial numbered versions of one card.  Unless it is a 1/1, I think it might be near impossible to own them all.  Worth trying, I suppose.  I already have three of these, 2/10, 6/10 and 10/10.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Holiday Gift From Scott

I got a really nice holiday package from my good friend, Scott not too long ago.  I feel bad that it has taken me this long to blog about it.  I have a ton of Christmas stuff piled up to talk about, so I should be good on blog posts for the time being.

Scott got me a few really nice cards as my gift.  The above Jonathan Schoop looks really great in person.  It is numbered 17/35 and is from 2013 Topps Tribute.  This is a really nice card, and I didn't have it in my collection yet.
Scott added this 2015 First Home Run coin card of Brooks Robinson that he has been sitting on for a little while.  He had originally wanted to trade it, but we never were able to match up.  I needed this for my Brooks PC, so I'm happy he ultimately added it.
Finally, Scott threw this Alfredo Marte 2013 Chrome Blue Refractor auto in as a kind of joke, since Marte was invited to Orioles spring training.  This is a really nice card.  I used to have one of these.  I have a sneaking suspicion that this used to be the one I had, but I haven't confirmed it with Scott.

Thanks for the awesome holiday package, Scott!  I loved everything that was in it!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Card Show Pickup - 1949 M. P. and Co. Ralph Kiner

I think this would be a good candidate for the POBC blog (Poor Old Baseball Cards) blog.  We all know how much I enjoy a "well loved" card.  This one is a card that I picked up from the card show this past weekend from the same seller where I got my Kaline RC.

This is a 1949 M. P. & Co. (R3202-2) Ralph Kiner.  As you can see, it is beat up pretty bad, but still looks really cool.  According to, this set was released as a strip of 8 cards.  I got it for $3.00 because I like Kiner, and also because the card looked really cool.

I'm happy I picked it up.  I'll probably look around and see if I can find one in better condition at some point, and I will also see who else is on the checklist as well (ok, I cheated and looked a few up on Ebay... THERES A BOB FELLER!!).

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Rest In Peace - Monte Irvin

Over the course of the last two days, two huge names have left this world and have moved on to the next one.

I was shocked and blown away yesterday morning to hear that music icon, David Bowie had passed away sometime Sunday.

Today, when I was checking on some Oriole news on Twitter, I saw that Hall of Famer Monte Irvon had passed away at age 96.  Irvin wasn't necessarily a shock, since he was 96, but it still stung nonetheless.  He was a baseball pioneer, one of the last remaining players of a bygone era.  He was also very good to fans and a great TTM signer.

The above baseball was one I got TTM back in 2010, which I have since flipped to my good friend, Andrew.  I had replaced that ball with a PSA one from Historic Autographs Ball of Fame.

Irvin was one of the oldest living baseball players at the time of his passing, and was the second longest tenured Hall of Famer (Sandy Koufax is the longest tenured living Hall of Famer, having been elected in 1972).

Irvin was a great ball player in his time and is regarded as one of the best to have come out of the Negro Leagues.  It was widely speculated back then that he would be the player who would break the color barrier, but Branch Rickey went with Jackie Robinson instead.

Rest in peace, Monte Irvin.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Christmas Gift From Sam

 I got half of my Christmas gift from my good friend, Sam, recently, with the other half on the way.  He says it is going to be something really good.  I don't know, though, because I really loved this half of it.  Ok, he told me what it is, and he's right, it's really amazing.  Sam got me some really cool cards to go with the gift, but the second half was delayed.  This Chris Davis patch from 2014 Panini National Treasures is really awesome.  It is a nice piece of patch numbered 9/25.
Sam hooked me up with another 2009 Bowman Sterling Nolan Reimold auto.  I love these cards, and am happy he sent it, regardless of how many I own.
Another card, among the many he sent, was this 2006 Bowman Futures Game relic of Nolan.  I had one of these already, but am happy for more.  With Nolan autos and relics, I don't care if I have duplicates.  I like getting any and all of them that I can get my hands on.

Thank you so much for the gifts, Sam!  You didn't have to get me anything else, but I'm happy you thought well enough of me to do so!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Card Show Pickup - 1954 Topps Al Kaline RC

I believe I have started my collecting in 2016 off with a bang.  Last week, I got three Hall of Fame signed baseballs for my collection.  This week, I knocked a card off of my Top Ten Wishlist, the 1954 Topps Al Kaline rookie card.

This card has been on my wishlist for a long time, ever since a former friend of mine picked one up at a show back in 2009 or so for $80.  That card had a huge crease down the front.  This card, I got for cheaper than that, but it is far from perfect.  It has some creasing, but overall, looks great.

The vendor I got the card from is one I try to buy from whenever I get the chance.  He is a really good guy, and always works with me on pricing.  I bought another card from him, but I will wait to show it.  He also had another card that was on my Top Ten, but I didn't pull the trigger on that one.  I may get it at another show, but the condition held me back some on it as well.  We will see how it goes.  I'm just happy to finally cross this one off.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Ebay Pickup - 2015 Topps Mini Chris Davis Red Parallel

I signed up for EBay bucks recently at the behest on one of my Instagram friends (I think it was Nick S., but I'm not sure).  I got my first email from Ebay Bucks and was able to use the ones I had earned to get almost half price on this 2015 Topps Mini Chris Davis numbered 4/5.

The list price was $29.99 shipped, and I got $12 off, so I think I got a nice steal on it.  I think the card looks really cool, so I am glad I was able to pick it up.  I was more worried about not getting one because they are so short printed, so I really made my move pretty quick.  I probably would have bought it, even without the Ebay Bucks discount.

There is another red parallel of Davis listed on Ebay.  I have considered going ahead and getting that one, too, but I don't really have $30 to spend on a card I already have at the moment.  Maybe I will leave it for some other Davis super collector.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Partial Christmas Gift From Max

I have made a lot of friends in this hobby, from the day in October 2006 when I started helping out at the former card shop in Winston-Salem, to when I started this blog in November 2008 to when I joined the Instagram card community in November of 2013.  One of the friends that count among the best of the best is my good friend, Max.  He and I have been trading for a long time now, and hung out at the National this past summer.  We text and skype almost every day.  He is an amazing person, whom I can't imagine being without.

Max sent me what he says was half of my Christmas gift.  The above Fergie Jenkis ball was something he picked up in person about a month ago for me, so I used it as an opportunity to upgrade the ball that I had.  Mine was one of my original TTM successes, but was on a China ball with a bad pen, so it has faded quite a bit.

This one looks so much better and is on an OMLB ball.  Definitely an upgrade!
Max knew someone who was doing some "graphing" recently, and was able to take every Bob Milacki card that I could find and turned them into autos.  Max and I 50/50'ed the cards and here are a few of the notable ones.

I love 1989 Topps's design, so I had to show this one.  It looks really cool signed.  I need to get myself into more TTMs on cards, because I feel like TTM autos give some of the 80s-90s cards new life, so to speak.
Speaking of 80s-90s cards, here is a nice signed 1989 Donruss, followed by the below 1990 Donruss.
In all, Max sent me 9 Milacki signed cards.  Not bad at all!  I'm really happy with them, and they will go into my TTM binder.
Max also included some signed cards by other former Orioles.  This 2012 Robert Andino is a nice one.
I was surprised last year to see that Adam Loewen popped back up in the majors in the Phillies pitching staff.  I guess his left arm is feeling better now after taking a few years off from pitching and playing as a position player.
Finally, this really cool Xavier Avery auto on a 2012 Topps.  Avery is back with the Orioles as a minor league signing.  He will try to break camp with the O's in Spring Training.  I feel like he is outfield depth at AAA, but not a bad deal on a milb contract.

So, thank you so much for the awesome package, Max.  As always, I appreciate it!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ebay Pickup - 1969 Topps Rollie Fingers Rookie Card

With the little bit of Christmas money that I had left over following my purchase of the three Hall of Fame balls that I added, I was able to knock a key piece off of my 1969 set.

This Rollie Fingers rookie card was one of the higher profile cards that I needed.  To be honest, I had no idea that Fingers's rookie card was in this set, until I looked at a checklist to see what big name cards remained.

I was able to knock it out for $9.95 shipped on Ebay, which is a steal, I think.  I have seen these go for around $25 or so, so I made sure to not let this deal pass me by.

The 1969 set is a goal of mine for this year.  I have been working on it long enough, and it is time to close it out.  Here's to hoping I can meet that goal this year.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Welcome The Two Newest Members of the Hall of Fame

Today is one of my favorite days of the year, the day when the BBWAA announces the newest members to be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

While I had hoped that four names would be announced, only two made it this year.  It was a foregone conclusion that Ken Griffey, Jr. would make it on his first try.  He will be joined in Cooperstown by former slugger, Mike Piazza.

Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines narrowly missed the cut, so it is highly likely that those two will be among the group called next year.

I had hoped that Bagwell would make it, since I already have a baseball signed by him; it would have made my HOF total go up.  I had a chance to pick up a Griffey at the National for a ridiculous price, but I passed because I felt it was too good to be true.

With tonight's announcement, that gives me two more guys I can pursue for my collection, which is nice.  This beats the Veterans Committee (or whatever they are calling it these days) because those guys are a lot harder to find.

Griffey received the highest voting percentage in history, with 99.3% after being named on all but 3 ballots.  He breaks the record that was held by Tom Seaver who had 98.84% in 1992.  I want to know who the three idiots are that felt that Griffey wasn't a Hall of Famer.

Next year, Bagwell and Raines will be on the ballot along with newcomers Vladimir Guerrero, Ivan Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez.  I'm interested in seeing what happens with Ramirez, since he was pegged twice for PED use.  Ivan Rodriguez is a Hall of Famer in my mind, but he was named in Jose Canseco's book as a user and deflated once MLB started testing.  I would like to see him get in, but we shall see.

Overall, I am please with how the vote turned out today.  I'm glad the BBWAA took votes away from folks (about 100).  I think they should continue to do so to the people who use the voting process as a means for attention.  I think the changes made to the process, though, have worked.  You're still seeing the right guys get in, I feel.  There are a few over the last several years that I kind of question (Larkin being the most obvious one), but in the end, I like the process.